Is the C-Suite Out of Touch with Email Marketing Performance? – MarTech Advisor
50% of high-level executives indicated they were “very satisfied” with the performance of their current email service provider (ESP), but only 17% of managers, senior managers, directors and vice presidents agreed writes, Will Devlin, Sr. Director of Marketing, MessageGears
We’d like to think the C-suite is plugged into the day-to-day realities of how their teams are performing, but the truth is — especially in enterprise organizations — their responsibilities can be so vast that it’s tough to stay plugged into the little details that often make the difference between a good quarter and a great one. When it comes to email marketing and the performance of email service providers, new research suggests this knowledge gap is real, and it can threaten to derail the marketing team’s success.
According to MessageGears’ 2018 ESP Satisfaction Report, 50% of high-level business-to-consumer (B2C) executives of companies that send more than 10 million emails a month indicated they were “very satisfied” with the performance of their current ESP, but only 17% of managers, senior managers, directors and vice presidents agreed.
In addition, a whopping 80% of C-suite executives said they were “very satisfied” with their ESP’s ease of use and real-time data access, compared with just 19% for the rest of the marketing team. Executives were also nearly twice as likely as other marketing team members to say their ESP’s best attribute was ease of use (50% to 27% and real-time data access 30 % to 16%)
How did these business leaders become so disconnected from the realities of the daily email grind? Interestingly, part of the disconnect likely stems from the fact that email tends to generate one of the highest returns on investment (ROI) when compared to other marketing channels. If email is chugging along and producing consistent clicks and conversions, it doesn’t attract a lot of attention. Meanwhile, the marketing team might be gnashing their teeth behind the scenes while fighting through the chronic data lag and time-eating syncs that limit email performance.
In addition to the difference in how they see the ESP’s performance, executives also — in almost contradictory fashion — have different levels of openness to changing their ESP. While 70% of C-suite executives said they either expect to change ESPs in the next year or aren’t sure if they will, just 43% of other marketing team members said the same. Half of the executives said they expect to have a different ESP in 12 months, compared to 17% of non C-suiters.
Does it really matter if the leadership team is out of touch with what’s going on behind the scenes with email marketing? The short answer is yes. Keeping them informed about challenges with regard to any email marketing program impacts multiple areas, including:
Email ROI that can likely be better
The ROI on email tends to be high, but for most enterprise organizations, the standard ROI of email could be much higher. When the C-suite doesn’t know that an ESP is underperforming, there is less incentive to search for newer, better technology. Marketers may not be able to convince leaders to approve necessary changes, or maybe worse yet, marketers may have a change forced on them that makes their job more difficult and negatively impacts performance.
A deeper understanding of customers
Any issues with customer data, such as data silos or out-of-date customer data, negatively impact real-time marketing and personalization efforts across all channels, including email. In fact, for many companies, email serves as the central hub for customer data, so a disconnect from how data is managed and used in email marketing extends far beyond the reaches of email and limits a company’s view of the entire customer journey.
A better email marketing industry
If you’re on the email marketing team, it’s important to proactively keep the C-suite aware of both the good and bad to ensure they have a realistic view of how your ESP is actually performing. Painful as it may be, giving them details on underperforming campaigns, limitations on what your ESP allows you to do, and areas where competitors are outpacing your email marketing efforts is essential if you want your CMO to be on the same page with your team when it comes to your ESP’s performance. If you’re a member of the C-suite, make it a habit to check in with your marketing team about how they feel your ESP is performing and ask if any changes need to be made. In these conversations, seek out specific performance issues, and task them with having a full understanding of the ESP industry landscape so they can offer concrete solutions to challenges that arise.
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